A mystical practice from the Middle Ages has made its way to TikTok

A practice from the Middle Ages has new life thanks to TikTok

People are using dowsing rods to channel and speak to spirits, or so they claim. Dowsing has existed for hundreds of years, but there’s a reason why it’s so convincing. 

What is dowsing? 

Dowsing is the act of using a dowsing rod, typically fashioned out of a forked piece (or two L-shaped pieces) of wood or metal, to detect hidden substances. In occultism, people used it to find water, minerals or even treasure during the Middle Ages in Europe. Some use it to communicate with the supernatural world. 

Does dowsing work for real? 

Dowsing hasn’t been shown to work in controlled scientific tests. However, it can be convincing because dowsing rods really do move. The scientific process is called ideomotor movements. This is when subconscious mental activity causes muscle movements that appear involuntary. It’s the same reason you might think the Oujia board is really communicating with you and your friends. 

How did dowsing rods become a TikTok trend?


I can’t believe I captured this on camera.. #medium #dowsingrods #haunted

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The user @laylalazuli used two dowsing rods to communicate with what she believed was a spirit. She held a rod in each hand and they moved back and forth in her hands as she asked questions.  

She asked the spirit questions like, “Are you angry? Have we met?” But when she said “Tell me where you are right now,” a book on a nearby table suddenly fell onto the ground. 

“OMG, the book at the end,” someone commented

“I got chills right when it fell,” another said

User @kelsiidaviess used her dowsing rods to let her “haunted doll” Lola pick out her makeup and outfit. 

When she asked Lola if she should wear contour or not, the rods pointed straight at the contour. The doll also chose mascara, purple mascara, pigtails and a tank top with jeans. 

“When ghosts have a sense of style,” one person said

“Lola has a better sense of style than me,” a user wrote.

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